Flows of drugs, arms, illegal workers, counterfeit goods, and technologies have been a central but often unrecognized feature of globalization—rivaling and in many cases surpassing their licit counterparts. The accompanying growth of regulatory and policing functions around these flows is also fundamental to globalization, and marks an evolving and often fluid construction of legality, illegality, and power.
Between 2000 and 2004, the ‘Illicit Flows’ collaborative research network explored how states, borders, and the language of law enforcement define and produce criminality at these margins of the global economy and how “illegal” people and goods move across regulated spaces. The project drew together researchers working on “underworlds” and “borderlands,” arms smuggling, transnational migration, the global diamond trade, and the transnational consumption of drugs in an effort to combine and advance understanding of these linked processes.
The project held a workshop in 2003, which resulted in the publication of Illicit Flows and Criminal Things: States, Borders, and the Other Side of Globalization, co-edited by Itty Abraham at the SSRC. Buy from Amazon